Service and efficient functionality
Better conditions for a functional port and smooth passenger traffic were created in 2018. Operations were optimised particularly in the busy West Harbour, where the harbour area will decrease in the future. A lot of work was also put into passenger comfort.
The Port of Helsinki constructed a new side ramp to the West Harbour’s LJ8 ferry berth, used by Eckerö Line. Completed at the beginning of May, the ramp has sped up the embarkation of passengers travelling by car by as much as 15 minutes. The ramp also allows more vehicles to fit on the ship.
At the end of May, West Terminal 2 introduced a two-phased ticket inspection system where tickets are inspected both in the entrance hall and upon embarkation. The new practice gave passengers earlier access to the departure lounge to enjoy the services in the terminal. Even though the vessels’ departures are closely staggered, the ticket inspection ensures that passengers get on the right vessel.
The area lighting around Terminal 1 in the West Harbour was renewed in the autumn. Old lighting fixtures were replaced with energy-efficient LED lights and additional lighting was installed, for example, over the passenger bridges. The new lighting helps to achieve better light intensity, as well as environmental and cost savings in the long run.
Efficient operations in a smaller area
Due to the construction of the Jätkäsaari residential area, traffic connections and services, the West Harbour area was still using temporary traffic arrangements. The numerous roadwork sites in the city’s road network and traffic congestion caused by them were also reflected in harbour traffic, especially in West Harbour. The Port of Helsinki actively seeks smooth traffic solutions together with the City of Helsinki’s area construction and traffic planning. The Port is also strongly involved in the planning and investigation of the City’s large-scale traffic projects, such as surveying the possibilities for the central pedestrian zone and the underground distributor street.
In mid-October, the Port of Helsinki released the Melkki quay in the West Harbour to the City of Helsinki for housing construction. In the near future, the Port will also part with waiting areas for heavy traffic and field parking areas for cars. Smooth operations in a smaller area require maximal efficiency and very close cooperation with harbour operators, the City and local residents.
Reduced environmental impact
The discount that the Port of Helsinki granted to liner traffic vessels reduced the environmental impact of port areas. In order to receive the discount, operators were required to take measures to reduce air emissions or noise at the harbour or otherwise improve the vessels’ environmental efficiency. The discount was granted to a total of eight vessels, totalling almost 148,000 euros. Although the reduction of the environmental impact of port operations is a long process, the effects of some measures could be felt instantly by the local residents around the harbour, for example as a reduced noise level.
In the autumn, the ELY Centre decided to largely reject and not investigate the demands made with the administrative enforcement procedure by two residents living near West Harbour concerning the noise levels around West Harbour, among other things.
Improvement of Helsinki–Tallinn traffic connections continues with EU funding
In October, the European Commission granted the TWIN-PORT 3 project of the ports of Helsinki and Tallinn, the City of Helsinki and the shipping companies Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line a total of 21.4 million euros of EU funding. The costs of the planned investments of the Port of Helsinki for streamlining traffic connections between Helsinki and Tallinn are 24 million euros, and the corresponding share of the EU funding is approximately 8 million euros.
The Port of Helsinki’s funded investments in the city centre’s passenger harbours over the next few years will include the construction of a bus traffic terminal in West Harbour, the improvement of onshore power availability at the West Harbour quays, the construction of a new side ramp at the Katajanokka Terminal and the acquisition of new automooring devices for West Harbour, among other things.
Focus on passenger services
The new strategy approved by the Board of Directors of the Port of Helsinki in June defined the development of the travel experience as one of the focus areas of the company’s operations. The work in the coming years will be based on better understanding ship passengers and good cooperation with customers and interest groups. Digital solutions will be sought to be gained from in this area, as well.